The outset of Television Without Frontiers is a project called “Eurikon”, which was initiated by the European Broadcast Union (EBU) in 1982. It was organised as a collaboration between fifteen national public service networks based in Europe and North Africa. There were five separate, weeklong transmissions, set up to investigate the possibilities of establishing a public service network that would reach the entire European continent, and beyond. In short, an attempt to construct common ground for a future (and present) community. Eurikon was an experiment and never intended to reach a general audience. A few years later a fully functioning service called “Europa TV” was launched but the broadcasts were cancelled after eighteen month. There has been no similar attempts since. Now, more than three decades later Europe seems rather heading towards nationalist fragmentation.
In Television Without Frontiers we set out to find out how Eurikon might be used as model to find out what happened to the visions of a post-national community? What does the idea of public service mean beyond the nation state? And what are the alternatives to the market and the nation in building common ground?